In August, the U.S. Mint individually released six silver coins commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the final year issue of the Morgan Dollar and the first year issue of the Peace Dollar. Although the pieces sold out almost immediately, you can own this six-piece set today.
The series contains five 2021 dated Morgan Dollars minted in Denver, San Francisco and Philadelphia. As the Carson City Mint and the New Orleans Mint are no longer operational, pieces bearing the "O" and "CC" mint marks were minted in Philadelphia. A 2021 example of the Peace Dollar, first minted in 1921, is also included.
Each coin arrives in official Mint packaging, including a Certificate of Authenticity. They are enclosed in a protective capsule within a black box, perfect for display.
American Morgan Silver Dollar
As an alternative to silver bullion bars
, Morgan Silver Dollars have proudly perched themselves atop the catbird seat of the numismatic world. It is one of America’s best known coins, with more than half a billion minted. Their physical size, availability, beauty, and historical significance have consistently attracted herds of new buyers. They are highly sought after not only by coin collectors, but by American history enthusiasts as well.
History of the Morgan Dollar
Morgan Silver Dollars played a huge part in America’s early development westward. The dollar coin was minted by the US from 1878 to 1904, when production was ceased because the demand for silver dollars was low and the supply was plentiful. Years later, congress passed the Pittman Act of 1918, which required the melting of excess silver dollars – over 270 million coins – after Great Britain requested to buy silver bullion from the U.S. government to prevent an economic disaster. The rumor was that Great Britain could no longer guarantee its silver certificates. Due to a renewed desire for the iconic, beautiful design, the Morgan Dollar was minted again in 1921 for one year only. The 1921 Morgan Silver Dollars are especially prized because they were the only Morgan dollars produced at the Denver Mint
. The original die from the coins minted in 1878–1904 was destroyed by the treasury in 1910, and had to be re-created.
The silver coin
is named after its designer, United States Mint assistant engraver George T. Morgan. It marks a major milestone in U.S. coinage as it was the first coin to feature an American-inspired Lady Liberty rather than the traditional Greek style. The front of the coin displays a left-facing profile instead of a full body portrait. Morgan used Anna Willess Williams, a teacher and philosophical writer, as his model for Lady Liberty. Her cap is dressed with wheat and cotton in honor of America’s agricultural history. The image of the eagle on the reverse of the coin was also updated for the Morgan Dollar, showing a proportionally correct eagle with beautifully designed feathers. He carries an olive branch and is perched atop a bundle of arrows. This image signifies America's desire for peace alongside a readiness to defend her borders against attack if necessary. One telling indicator of the 1921 mint is the very small mint mark D placed above the DO in DOLLAR.
The Peace Dollar, first introduced in 1921, is, and always has been, high in demand. With the ending of the “war to end all wars,” Americans were looking forward to an era of normality, peace, and prosperity. The idea of a coin to commemorate the end of World War I was gaining traction.
The Pittman Act of 1918 resulted in a loss of over 270 million silver dollar coins, which was over half the mintage of Morgans. The Pittman Act, however, also required that the government create a new silver dollar, to be struck using the silver purchased from the mines in the West. Around that time, World War I had just ended, giving thought to creating a commemorative world peace coin following all of the bloodshed and destruction. There was fear that this new design would be delayed, because at the time when the Peace Dollar bill was introduced to Congress for approval on May 9, 1921, the U.S. Mint started striking the Morgan Silver Dollars again. The Treasury department, however, liked the idea of a new silver dollar and announced a design competition. What ANA did not realize at that point was that congressional approval was not required to change the design, as the Morgan Silver Dollar had been in use for over 25 years. Nevertheless, it was because of this competition that we now see the iconic designs and America’s most beautiful coins that were created in the first decades of the 20th century – Mercury Dimes, Washington Quarters, Walking Liberty Half Dollars, Standing Liberty Quarters, and what would be the Peace Silver Dollars. The Peace Dollar was minted from 1921–1928 and again in 1934 and 1935. In fact, the Peace Dollar ended up being the last U.S. Silver dollar coin minted for circulation with this last year of mint.
The winning artist for the coin was Anthony de Francisci, a young Italian immigrant. Although he used his wife as a model, de Francisci said of his Miss Liberty, “It is a composite face and in that way, typifies something of America … the intellectual speed and vigor and virility America has as well as its youth.” The first Peace Dollar was struck at the Philadelphia Mint on December 26, 1921. The front of this silver dollar features the profile of Francisci’s design of Lady Liberty. The reverse design shows an eagle holding only the olive branches of peace, rather than the olive branches accompanied by the usual arrows of war; appropriately so, as the coin was issued in honor of peace. Beaming from behind the eagle are rays of sunlight, whose pointed shape is reminiscent of Lady Liberty’s crown. The original design showed the eagle breaking a sword, but was altered at the last minute by George T. Morgan, as mint officials were afraid it would be interpreted as a symbol of defeat. Inscribed above the eagle in an arched heading is our nation’s name and the words E PLURIBUS UNUM.